Quality Team Completes Alternative Refrigeration Project for Supervalu

Nov. 9, 2012
Source Refrigeration, Hill Phoenix, and others, installed systems using three of the leading refrigerant alternatives in a Supervalu store in Carpinteria, CA.

Source Refrigeration & HVAC, Inc., Anaheim, CA, recently completed a major remodeling and expansion of the refrigeration systems at the Albertson’s grocery store in Carpinteria, CA, the first all-natural refrigerant store in the U.S. This history making project is Supervalu’s showcase project for the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge. The link below provides details for the project: bit.ly/supervalubbc.

Source was selected based on its experience in providing turn-key installation and on-going service for advanced refrigeration systems.

“This project is a testament to Supervalu’s commitment to natural refrigerants and sustainability,” says Richard Heath, director of energy innovations and projects for Supervalu. “We selected Source because of their extensive experience in planning, phasing, installing, executing and sustaining mission-critical refrigeration and HVAC systems. Source’s commitment to system optimization and energy efficiency is very much in line with Supervalu’s overall sustainability efforts,” Heath says.

A project of this size required many resources, and much collaboration.

“Key to the success of a project like this is a strong partnership between all suppliers,” adds Heath. Source was part of a comprehensive team comprised of CTA Architects/Engineers, Hill PHOENIX, Mayekawa Manufacturing Company (makers of the ammonia rack), Aztec Energy Partners, and Eleven Western Builders, Inc.

Fred Stockert, Source’s director of construction, says the project was rather unique in that regard, as it brought together companies that are often competitors, with the common goal being a high quality, efficient, and safe installation.

Source’s participation was critical to many key stages in the project, including the design/review process, project phasing and scheduling, technology implementation, installation, operational review and validation, and operational/functional sustainability. Source assigned a quality team to the project.

Brad Person, senior vice president, operations, directed the team. Bryan Beitler, vice president of engineering was responsible for reviewing phasing loads, designs, system capacity validations of a phased remodel program, and key component and operations review.

Stockert planned and deployed resources to meet critical open-store customer expectations and safety needs. He also developed and implemented safety training and awareness involved with the application of the natural refrigerants used on the project — carbon dioxide (CO2,) ammonia, and propane). “The installation was continuously evaluated throughout the project much like a research and development project”, Stockert says. Since this was the first-ever all-natural refrigerant store installation, our EMS team guys had to explore several options when running the wire, to identify the most correct and efficient way it should be installed. The communication was great between all teams across the board.”

The all natural design also included self-contained display cases that utilized propane as the refrigerant. Less than one pound of propane is used in these display cases. But even so, the utmost in safety training was provided to technicians.

“We had a representative from the case manufacturer come to the U.S. He trained the team that was installing the cases. He also trained about half of our southern California service team in anticipation of long-term service needs. We took the same approach with the CO2 and ammonia systems. I brought service teams in specifically to discuss how the CO2 and ammonia piping ran, the gas flow, and all safety precautions,” says Bob Burns, customer account lead, coordinated the internal Source resources and external project partners.

Director of Energy Optimization Pete Cuneo reviewed and implemented the controls functions needed to efficiently operate the new system.

Director of Service Greg Thurston, developed and executed a service and preventative maintenance program to ensure store performance and operational sustainability. He also provided technician and resource training and information.

Bryan Beitler says open communication between designers, electricians, installers and general contractor was essential in designing the system.

“There were a number of discussions on the exact configurations, with CTA, with consulting engineers who were designing the refrigeration system, as well as the manufacturer of those systems,” Beitler says. “Source Refrigeration and HVAC provided input from a service, maintenance, and installation standpoint. Items had to be added based on the dialogue, to be able to balance, measure, or collect information that was necessary to evaluate the system operation, and to ensure that it can be serviced and maintained. It was designed as a collaborative effort.

“One challenge that was out of the norm in the supermarket world, is that we were asked to run the CO2 cascade piping to the ammonia system in steel piping with industrial grade insulation,” Beitler recalls. “Normally, a supermarket runs everything in copper. The fear was that the copper in contact with ammonia might eventually create a problem.”

The store opened as planned on July 25, 2012.

DuPont Refrigerants Enables Seizure of Illegal Refrigerant in UAE

DuPont Refrigerants worked with law enforcement in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), playing an instrumental role in a significant seizure of counterfeit DuPont SUVA refrigerants in Sharjah. DuPont became aware of the counterfeit refrigerant goods sold and stored by Sunrise Airconditioning Spare Parts Trading LLC, a refrigerant trader, through a preventive program of the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DDED).

DuPont learned that the trader stored his goods in the neighboring emirate of Sharjah. As a result of a third-party complaint against Sunrise, DuPont and the SDED worked jointly to determine if the refrigerants being stored by the trader and bearing the DuPont brand name were genuine DuPont refrigerant products. The investigation confirmed that these were counterfeit refrigerant cylinders carrying the trademarks DUPONT and SUVA as well as trademarks of another major manufacturer. A total of 3,100 units of fake DuPont SUVA 134a refrigerants, and 6,000 units of fake product from another manufacturer were seized. The seized goods were stored and guarded at Sunrise facilities by guards employed by DuPont, under the authority of local law enforcement. DuPont has developed a multi-faceted program to address counterfeit refrigerants, including education of customs officials and deployment of overt and covert tactics to ensure the authenticity of DuPont refrigerants.

Read more by visiting bit.ly/dupontaction.

Increased Development of CO2 Systems

Manufacturers have pursued a number of different approaches to using carbon dioxide (CO2) in commercial refrigeration systems. In addition to low-temperature, secondary systems like those already in use here, other approaches include those that use subcritical cascade and transcritical refrigeration. Subcritical systems have been around for more than 10 years in various configurations. More recently, European transcritical systems have grown from just a few in 2006, to more than a thousand since then. Transcritical systems, particularly booster systems, continue to gain in popularity.

In North America over the past decade, supermarkets have begun adopting some of these approaches to CO2. So far, CO2 secondary fluid systems have been used for low-temperature applications. Following on the success of these systems, subcritical cascade (DX) systems have seen increasing use in low-temperature applications and some retailers have now begun to look even further at transcritical booster systems.

The overwhelming success of CO2 as a refrigerant and the different types of systems in which it is used has convinced more and more companies that it’s a tremendously effective approach to sustainable and efficient refrigeration.

— Bill Katz, Technical Writer Hill PHOENIX Learning Center. He can be reached at [email protected].

For additional commentary, visit bit.ly/BillKatzonCO2

About the Author

Terry McIver | Content Director - CB

A career publishing professional, Terence 'Terry' McIver has served three diverse industry publications in varying degrees of responsibility since 1987, and worked in marketing communications for a major U.S. corporation.He joined the staff of Contracting Business magazine in April 2005.

As director of content for Contracting Business, he produces daily content and feature articles for CB's 38,000 print subscribers and many more Internet visitors. He has written hundreds, if not two or three, pieces of news, features and contractor profile articles for CB's audience of quality HVACR contractors. He can also be found covering HVACR industry events or visiting with manufacturers and contractors. He also has significant experience in trade show planning.